Skip to main content

1,400 poor Dalit, Muslim houses "under threat" of demolition in Mumbai: Lack of grievance mechanism alleged

Cheeta Camp slum, Trombay
By Our Representative
Amidst claims of ‘housing For all’ and ‘affordable housing’, the Maharashtra government in alliance with the local body administration of Mumbai allegedly again threatening to demolish homes of around 1,400 poor Dalit and Muslim families. Two slum areas -- Bheemchhaya in Kannamwar Nagar, Vikhroli and Cheeta Camp in Trombay -- are set to be razed to ground by bulldozers.
Bheemchhaya is a Dalit majority community with 800 households, while Cheeta Camp is a Muslim majority slum community with 600 households. The demolition will be carried out by the Maharashtra Forest Department.
Government claims that these areas are notified as forest and need be free of encroachment. Contesting this, civil rights organization Ghar Bachao Ghar Banao Andolan (GBGBA) has said in a statement, forwarded to Counterview, the demolitions are being threatened "without following the due process of law and making enough provisions for grievance redressal."
The Forest Department has announced the demolition of Cheeta Camp will be carried out tomorrow and Bheemchhaya on a later date. GBGBA insists, "There can be no eviction without rehabilitation. Due process of law ought to be followed before carrying out the demolition drive."
"No notices of demolition have been served to the affected families", GBGBA points out, adding, "These slums are protected as per Maharashtra Slum Act but the Forest Department has notified these areas as ‘reserved forest’ and is disrespecting the housing rights of the slum dwellers by refusing to rehabilitate the protected slum dwellers."
Heavy police forces have deployed for the demolition drive. "Local police station of Cheeta Camp is terrorising Muslim youths and threatening them of dire consequences if they try to resist the demolition drive", reports GBGBA.
"In Bheemchhaya, the Forest Department has issued orders of demolition on false grounds without providing the aggrieved slum dwellers any mechanism to appeal against the order", says GBGBA, adding, "This action will amount to violation of section 3 of Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 which prohibits eviction of member of a Dalit community without following due process of law."
Blaming the Maharashtra government of disregarding the vulnerabilities of the Dalits and minority communities by demolishing their only shelter, GBGBA says, "This will lead to further marginalisation of these communities."
Appealing the state government to stop this demolition of homes of vulnerable families with children, GBGBA has asked members of civil society, political organisations and concerned citizens of the city to stand up against this "injustice."
"We appeal everyone to visit Bheemachaya and Cheetah Camp to initiate dialogue with members of the community and persuade the state government to resolve matters by dialogue and mutual consent rather than brute police force", says GBGBA, adding, "The city belongs to everyone and it is the government’s responsibility to ensure housing to all".
"Instead, for years what Mumbai is witnessing is 'snatching away’ of homes, life and livelihood by that very state that should protect the poor, vulnerable and marginalised", the civil rights body believes, adding, "We must come together to prevent another gross injustice in the name of demolition".

Comments

Damien Spectre said…
good. thats for trying to mention the word MUSLIM for cheAP publicity

TRENDING

Girl child education: 20 major states 'score' better than Gujarat, says GoI report

By Rajiv Shah
A Government of India report, released last month, has suggested that “model” Gujarat has failed to make any progress vis-à-vis other states in ensuring that girls continue to remain enrolled after they leave primary schools. The report finds that, in the age group 14-17, Gujarat’s 71% girls are enrolled at the secondary and higher secondary level, which is worse than 20 out of 22 major states for which data have been made available.

Savarkar in Ahmedabad "declared support" to two-nation theory in 1937, followed by Jinnah three years later

By Our Representative
One of the top freedom fighters whom BJP and Prime Minister Narendra Modi revere the most, Vinayak Damodar Savarkar, was also a great supporter of the two nation theory for India, one for Hindus another for Muslims, claims a new expose on the man who is also known to be the original proponent of the concept of Hindutva.

Congress 'promises' cancellation of Adani power project: Jharkhand elections

Counterview Desk
Pointing out that people's issues take a backseat in Jharkhand's 2019 assembly elections, the state's civil rights organization, the Jharkhand Janadhikar Mahasabha, a coalition of activists and people’s organisations, has said that political parties have largely ignored in their electoral manifestos the need to implement the fifth schedule of the Constitution in a predominantly tribal district.

Hindutva founders 'borrowed' Nazi, fascist idea of one flag, one leader, one ideology

By Shamsul Islam*
With the unleashing of the reign of terror by the RSS/BJP rulers against working-class, peasant organizations, women organizations, student movements, intellectuals, writers, poets and progressive social/political activists, India also witnessed a series of resistance programmes organized by the pro-people cultural organizations in different parts of the country. My address in some of these programmes is reproduced here... 
***  Before sharing my views on the tasks of artists-writers-intellectuals in the times of fascism, let me briefly define fascism and how it is different from totalitarianism. Totalitarianism is political concept, a dictatorship of an individual, family or group which prohibits opposition in any form, and exercises an extremely high degree of control over public and private life. It is also described as authoritarianism.
Whereas fascism, while retaining all these repressive characteristics, also believes in god-ordained superiority of race, cultur…

Ex-World Bank chief economist doubts spurt in India's ease of doing business rank

By Rajiv Shah
This is in continuation of my previous blog where I had quoted from a commentary which top economist Prof Kaushik Basu had written in the New York Times (NYT) a little less than a month ago, on November 6, to be exact. He recalled this article through a tweet on November 29, soon after it was made known that India's growth rate had slumped (officially!) to 4.5%.

With RSS around, does India need foreign enemy to undo its democratic-secular fabric?

By Shamsul Islam*
Many well-meaning liberal and secular political analysts are highly perturbed by sectarian policy decisions of RSS/BJP rulers led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, especially after starting his second inning. They are vocal in red-flagging lynching incidents, policies of the Modi government on Kashmir, the National Register of Citizens (NRC), the demand for 'Bharat Ratna' to Savarkar who submitted 6-7 mercy petitions to the British masters (getting remission of 40 years out of 50 years' sentence), and the murder of constitutional norms in Goa, Karnataka and now in Maharashtra.

Post-Balakot, danger that events might spiral out of control is 'greater, not less'

By Tapan Bose*
The fear of war in South Asia is increasing. Tensions are escalating between India and Pakistan after the Indian defence minister's announcement in August this year that India may revoke its current commitment to only use nuclear weapons in retaliation for a nuclear attack, known as ‘no first use’. According to some experts who are watching the situation the risk of a conflict between the two countries has never been greater since they both tested nuclear weapons in 1998.

Rushdie, Pamuk, 260 writers tell Modi: Aatish episode casts chill on public discourse

Counterview Desk
As many as 260 writers, journalists, artists, academics and activists across the world, including Salman Rushdie, British Indian novelist, Orhan Pamuk, Turkish novelist and recipient of the 2006 Nobel Prize in literature, and Margaret Atwood, Canadian poet and novelist, have called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to review the decision to strip British Indian writer Aatish Taseer of his overseas Indian citizenship.

Worrying signs in BJP: Modi, Shah begin 'cold-shouldering' Gujarat CM, party chief

By RK Misra*
The political developments in neighbouring Maharashtra where a Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress government assumed office has had a trickle down effect in Gujarat with both the ruling BJP and the Congress opposition going into revamp mode.

'Favouring' tribals and ignoring Adivasis? Behind coercion of India's aborigines

By Mohan Guruswamy*
Tribal people account for 8.2% of India’s population. They are spread over all of India’s States and Union Territories. Even so they can be broadly classified into three groupings. The first grouping consists of populations who predate the Indo-Aryan migrations. These are termed by many anthropologists as the Austro-Asiatic-speaking Australoid people.